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Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket

This Labor Day, treat your family to a delicious, humanely-raised, and environmentally conscious grass-fed Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket to celebrate the holiday!

Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket

This post has been sponsored by Western Grassfed Beef All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I haven’t shared a lot of recipes for larger cuts of meat in the 5 years of MMC, so I’m excited to bring you this Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket just in time for Labor Day weekend!

One of the keys to a juicy and tender brisket is the fat. While fat is very important, I find most corn-fed brisket to be TOO fatty. Even at the best BBQ joint, I find myself sitting aside a mound of fat from the meat that’s just inedible.

For dishes like these, I always turn to grass-fed beef. If your local options are sub-par, you need to check out Western Grassfed Beef. You’ll find that a Western Grassfed Beef brisket is super flavorful and just fatty enough to yield a delicious product.

If you think that you’d prefer a bit more fat, you could always layer bacon over the top after seasoning!

If you’ve been following the blog for a long time, you’ll know that I’ve been on many trips within the beef industry to learn about the process of raising, feeding, and finishing cattle. I have some opinions on the matter, but that’s a story for a different day.

What I love about grass-fed beef and Western Grassfed in particular, is their dedication to keeping the process as environmentally friendly as possible.

Their system incorporates riparian restoration, preservation, and rangeland enrichment with proper rotational grazing that enhances rather than destroys the land.

Their cattle are raised with the purpose of becoming a nutritious, healthy beef protein and are treated humanely and with dignity and respect throughout their entire lives by grazing their cattle on open pasture rather than confining them to feedlots.

You often hear about the health benefits that come with forage-fed cattle. As I mentioned before, the process yields leaner cuts of meat but they also contain a higher percentage of healthy acids.

I admire any company that continues to go against the grain (pun intended) when it comes to the raising of cattle. In the last couple of years, I’ve made the switch over to wild-caught salmon, and more and more I’m opting for grass-fed beef with the same ethos in mind.

The more I learn about the food industry in general, the more I appreciate the fact that there are family ranchers who commit themselves to sustainable practices. 

Did I mention that Western Grassfed Beef also demands and verifies that all cattle are Born and Raised in the USA®? Sadly, that’s something that’s not always guaranteed when you’re picking up a pound of unlabeled beef from a big box store.

I could seriously go on and on, but I highly highly recommend you trying out grass-fed beef from Western Grassfed if you haven’t, and do some research of your own!

Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket

Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket
Yield: Serves 8

Instant Pot Bourbon BBQ Brisket

Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours


  • 4 lb Beef Brisket
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Dry Rub

  • 1 tablespoon plus kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cooking liquid

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup


  1. Mix all ingredients for the dry rub together in a small bowl. Remove the brisket from the packaging and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Rub brisket all over with dry rub. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing.
  3. Whisk together all the ingredients for the cooking liquid except for the ketchup.
  4. Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting. Add the olive oil and once your instant pot reaches the desired temperature add the beef brisket.
  5. Sear the beef on all sides. About 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  6. Pour the prepared cooking liquid over the meat. Close the lid and make sure the vent is set to seal. Set the Instant Pot to the Manual/High-Pressure setting and set the timer to 75 minutes.
  7. Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, which should take about 15 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450ºF.
  8. Carefully unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot. Remove the brisket carefully with tongs and set aside.
  9. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and add to a bowl with 1 cup of ketchup. Whisk to combine.
  10. Brush the brisket all over with a generous coating of BBQ sauce. There should be enough leftovers for serving. Roast the brisket in the oven until it's browned and glazed, watching carefully to prevent burning, 4–5 minutes.
  11. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it. Slice the brisket and serve with the extra BBQ sauce and pickles.

Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 17th of March 2022

Hi! This looks amazing! Do you know if I should adjust the cooking time for a 2 lb brisket? Thanks!


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

You actually should be able to do the same cooking time!

Rachel Green

Sunday 8th of September 2019

Hi Paige, I just discovered your site and am excited to stumble onto this IP recipe. I'm expecting a crowd of 20 and 30 somethings at my house next weekend, and thought about serving this with brioche buns and some slaw. I have a 6qt and an 8qt. Did you prepare your 4lb cut in a 6 qt? If you made a larger cut, would you use 1/2 again or double the ingredients? I mean, I would make extra rub and use whatever I need, but how much more cooking liquid would you use in the 8qt for say, a 6-7 lb cut?


Monday 9th of September 2019

That sounds amazing, Rachel! I did prepare prepare the 4lb cut in my 6qt, but I had to finagle it a bit to make sure it all got browned. If you have the option of the 8qt it would certainly make it easier on you. I would definitely double the rub if you're using a larger cut, but I think all you would need is an additional cup or so of beef broth. Good luck!


Friday 6th of September 2019

This looks amazing! The quality of the meat is very important. Thanks for sharing!


Friday 6th of September 2019

Thank you so much! I totally agree.

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